I moved in to warm myself at the fire. It was cold. “Your fire is not giving out much heat,” I said.
“It is not a fire; it is a picture of a fire.” Giancarlo gestured toward the grazing goats. “Push one,” he said.
I walked over to the little flock; no matter which way I tried to go, every-thing was sideways. “Push,” said Giancarlo. I pushed. The goat fell over.
—Mark Twain in Milan from Platterland
It was a real nice laying-out—tasteful. Well, maybe not so much tasteful particularly, but neat. They’d got Ed’s left arm attached to his head and not his shoulder. And they had the remaining right arm attached on the left side. To look like them, I supposed.
—Platterland from Platterland
The author calls it a “hypertext puzzle box.” And so it is. Certainly “The Orange Virgin” is a quandary box filled with the clutter of a well stocked mind made redundant by an errant world devoid of the classicism once imparted to a tender youth through a stern apprenticeship to Greek and Latin Masters frequently mistaken, though no more, for Antarctic birds. But here is a sweet offering called Platterland, by Rob Hunter. It’s sub-headed You Will Be Happy Here more in anticipation than trepidation, one imagines. In it a clash of titans fills the foreground as the earth goddess and sky demon jostle one another back into their proper dominions. A lavish palimpsest of characters spatters the way, like the texture of a well painted flat, rich in hue and vast in breadth while the depth leaves the reader breathless. In the 30 years Rob struggled to create his Parnassus he must have felt like that when he wasn’t envying the easy life of Laocoön. Golems dance with demiurges to the heady rhythms of cigar chomping manticores while Ur Goats nod and udderful bulls bellow to be milked though they know not where.
—Martin Langeland on DumLuks.com
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